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20070425 Wednesday April 25, 2007

Australia : "The drying continent"

energybulletin.net -> smh.com.au :

Jim Salinger, a lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Australasian chapter, painted a grim picture for Australia during the coming decades. The IPCC, set up in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organisation and the UN Environment Program, is a collaboration of more than 2500 climate change scientists and 130 governments.

"Australia is very much the drying continent," Dr Salinger told journalists in Auckland. "Large areas are likely to have less rainfall and soil moisture. This has dramatic implications for crop, pastoral and grazier land production over much of southern and eastern Australia. So they are looking at very serious consequences there," he said. "The cropping areas will be reduced. There is a potential for large drops. It is all the crops that are grown in the riverine areas and the Murray-Darling basin."

He said there would also be a projected drop in Australia's snow coverage by 20-85 per cent by 2050. "I believe that the skiing industry may not be an economic proposition. It depends on the rate of warming entirely," he said. Natural hazards, such as a rise in tropical diseases and cyclones were also projected to be more common in coming years. Extreme rainfall events, flooding and salt inundation of freshwater supplies, changes to mangroves and fire regimes, as well as coastal erosion and rises in sea levels could present challenges to some Aboriginal groups.

See also :

1. UN climate panel : global warming is man-made
2. Climate change : Drought
3. Global warming could bring hunger, melt Himalayas

(2007-04-25 14:27:50 SGT) [Env] Permalink

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